Indonesian pastor who wed executed 'Bali Nine' drug smuggler had worked in Singapore

Indonesian pastor who wed executed 'Bali Nine' drug smuggler had worked in Singapore
Australian death row prisoner Andrew Chan's wife Indonesian Febyanti Herewila (left) speaking to Australian consule general to Bali Mijell Hind (centre), after visiting him at Nusakambangan prison island, off central Java on March 11, 2015.

SINGAPORE - Ms Febyanti Herewila, who married convicted drug smuggler Andrew Chan on Monday, worked in Singapore as a church worker for a number of years.

Pastor Jacub Suria, 47, who met her a few times while she was working here, said that she came to Singapore around 2004.

She worked in a church in the east, and helped Indonesian domestic workers here, Mr Jacub told The Straits Times. She was a Christian worker in Indonesia, and came to Singapore as the church "needed someone", he said.

"She was friendly and easy to talk to," he added,

Ms Febyanti, also known as "Feby", went back to Indonesia by 2008, and they did not keep in contact. He found out she wed Chan from the news.

She spent time in Bali and Jakarta as a member of Gereja Bethel Indonesia, a group of Christian Pentecostal churches, The Daily Mail reported.

The British paper also said she was a Javanese princess, but Mr Jacub said that she was born in Timor and moved to Java with her family later.

Feby and Chan met in 2012 when she started to assist prisoners at Bali's Kerobokan prison where Chan was serving time. She has described him as "one of the strongest, kindest people I have ever met".

Chan, 31, proposed to Feby in February after he learnt that Indonesian President Joko Widodo had rejected his clemency bid.

He was convicted in 2006 along with fellow Australian Myuran Sukumaran for trying to smuggle heroin out of Indonesia. They were identified as the ringleaders of the so-called "Bali Nine" heroin-trafficking gang.

According to their family members who have reportedly been asked to say their last goodbyes on Tuesday afternoon, the two men would be executed at midnight.


This article was first published on April 28, 2015.
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